HILL AIR FORCE BASE -- Hill Air Force Base doesn't have enough room to provide child care to all of its families in need, but this winter there should be little more space to accommodate them.
A new Child Development Center that is currently under construction at Hill which will supplement the base's current CDC, with 19 rooms providing space for 256 more children.
The new center, which sits across the parking lot from the current one, is being built thanks to a 2009 act of Congress that sent $10 million to Hill for the facility's construction. The building should be finished and open for business in February.
Toni Hansen, chief of Airmen and Family Services at Hill, said the base CDC currently has 261 children enrolled with another 69 children on a standby list, waiting for positions to open.
When the new facility opens, the children on standby will be accepted into the program and 187 additional slots will be available.
"We want to get the word out to families on base who may have decided to go with an alternative because of the historically long waiting list," Hansen said. "We're going to have some space available for more kids."
Hill's CDC is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and provides care to children of military and civilian families between the age range of 6 weeks old and kindergarten.
The center has a staff of 100 employees, many of whom are trained in CPR, first aid response and child abuse awareness.
"We try to provide the best child care possible," said CDC director Missy Neitzel. "We have a qualified staff, we have very strict teacher-to-student ratios and we follow a curriculum for all of our kids -- even our babies."
Families are charged based on their total gross income and are given a 10 percent discount for each additional child (beyond one) who receives care.
The center will hold an open house of its current facility for interested parents on Wednesday.
Staff will run tours of the facility and the program from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
This isn't the first time the base CDC has outgrown its facility. In 2004, the center was upgraded with eight additional classrooms.
"Right now is an excellent opportunity for military and civilian parents at Hill to get their children into some real quality child care," Hansen said. "(When the new facility opens) more than likely we'll fill all of the spots and have a waiting list again. Now is the time."
Construction on the new building began in August 2010.